The Gospel of Wealth
Thus is the problem of Rich and Poor to be solved. The laws of accumulation will be left free; the laws of distribution free. Individualism will continue, but the millionaire will be but a trustee for the poor; entrusted for a season with a great part of the increased wealth of the community, but administering it for the community far better than it could or would have done itself.
The rights and interests of the laboring man will be protected and cared for, not by the labor agitators, but by the Christian men to whom God in His infinite wisdom, has given control of the property interests of the country.
George F. Baer
Here, then, is the issue. The gospel of Christ says that progress comes from every individual merging his individuality in sympathy with his neighbors. On the other side, the conviction of the nineteenth century is that progress takes place by virtue of every individual's striving for himself with all his might and trampling his neighbor under foot whenever he gets a chance to do so. This may accurately be called the Gospel of Greed.
Charles S. Peirce
God gave me my money.
John D. Rockefeller
Questions To Think About
1. How does wealth come about, according to the quotations--by exploitation or by the virtues of patience and frugality?
2. What is the role of the entrepreneur in promoting economic development? in helping the poor and disadvantaged? What are the business leader's social responsibilities, if any?
3. How is economic inequality explained?
4. Can the private sector be trusted to serve the public interest?